Starting Aug. 12, the Bellefonte Arts & Crafts Fair committee will welcome families, friends and neighbors to the 33rd annual event. The fair features more artists, food vendors and entertainment each year at Talleyrand Park.
The fair was organized 34 years ago by Dona Goldman and Jeri Galaida to bring art and visitors to downtown Bellefonte and to also help increase foot traffic. The fair began with vendors on the sidewalks of the downtown business area, showcasing local art and bringing visitors into the area.
“All of the artists this year are juried artists, and most of the food vendors are returning favorites,” said Debbie Hamilton, director of the fair. “Entertainment is selected by a mix of favorites, a mix of musical types, and to give new talent a showcase.”
A varied mix of art will be featured, including jewelry, metal, fiber, wood, leather, photography, glass, painting, pottery, soap, food items and general artwork. Among the featured artists are photogapher Art Heim, of Heim Works Art, Sheri Dreibelbis, of Yellow House Scented Simmering Oils, and Martin Ramos, who makes indigenous-style jewelry from silver wire, semiprecious stones, braided leather, bamboo, carved gourd, seeds and other materials from nature.
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“Our artist reception is at the close of the fair on Friday for all of the artists, committee members, borough staff and invited guests to relax, enjoy each other’s company and talk over the day’s fair,” Hamilton said. “It’s a great way to end the day and our artists really look forward to sharing with each other.”
Year to year, entertainment for the fair is determined by what the audience likes, and many bands return each year by request. Entertainment slated for this year’s fair includes artists and bands in a variety of styles: everything from rock ’n’ roll, classic rock, bluegrass and Americana, to blues, gospel, classical, jazz, big band and more.
Returning Main Stage performers on Friday include the Jay Vonada Trio and Pure Cane Sugar. Also featured this year on the Main Stage are Callie Veach Dixon, a soulful pop singer and guitarist performing indie and electro styles, and the ’70s and ’80s classic rock band Diamond Island. Featured on the Gazebo Stage this year will be Papa and Picker, playing guitar and banjo American classics, the Curtin Street Quartet, featuring classical and chamber music and Bluegrass Redemption, a quartet performing traditional and gospel bluegrass standards.
There will also be numerous delectable delights from some of the area’s finest concessionaires, including pork sandwiches from Scott’s Roasting, cheesesteaks and hot sausage from Jerry Snyder Concessions, pizza from Brother’s New York Style Pizzeria, Bob’s Funnel Cakes, glazed almonds, pecans and cashews from Nutty Bavarian, Hawaiian shaved ice from Miller’s Tropical Sno and much more.
For kids, the Dominion Science Center will provide fun and educational experiments and demonstrations. Free arts and crafts projects will engage children in creating their own art, and youths ages 10-14 can participate in a kayaking experience in Spring Creek, offered by the Mach One Kayak Team.
“People who attend our fair will experience a great relaxing, serene park setting with artists placed throughout the park,” Hamilton said. “Children’s arts and crafts are free and Dominion Science will attract any child. Families can come, eat their favorite foods, meet friends, shop at their favorite artist booths, meet new artists, enjoy the music and let their children create art.”
Additional offerings at the fair include face painting by Madison Mock in the Mock Creations Booth; Bellefonte EMS ambulance and firefighter displays, where area emergency responders will show off their equipment, provide demonstrations and answer questions; and Centre Wildlife’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side,” a program with live mammals, birds and reptiles.
Parking will be provided at the Bellefonte Area High School where visitors can ride the shuttle bus, which stops at both sides of the park and on the diamond downtown. A handicap accessible shuttle bus will also be running.
IF YOU GO
- What: Bellefonte Arts & Crafts Fair
- When: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Aug. 12 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 13
- Where: Talleyrand Park, West High Street, Bellefonte
- Info: bellefontefair.org